These short courses are ideal as an introduction to botanical printmaking or for those with some printmaking experience. If you enjoy painting and drawing, your skills will naturally translate to printmaking and enable you to reinterpret existing artwork or create new images in print form. Intaglio printmaking can produce the most delicate graphic linear qualities or robust and freestyle linear images and with the use of aquatint can incorporate the most delicate areas of tone or intense velvety blacks or colour. Additional colour can be created with the use of Chine Colle. These courses offer etching on copper in Ferric Chloride – a non toxic acid – or drypoint on perspex which does not require the use of acids. Though the results are similar they both have their individual qualities.
The other technique offered is monotype which is a type of printmaking made by drawing or painting on to a smooth non absorbant surface, in this case perspex. The image is transferred to paper by the use of a press. Most of the ink is transferred making the print a unique print. A secondary print, or ghost print, is sometimes possible and can be further worked to produce another image. The inks can be oil or water based. The image can either be made by inking the entire surface and removed in a subtractive way with brushes, rags, solvent or water, etc, or inked in a positive way with rollers, brushes, plastic, sticks or anything suitable. It can also be a combination of both. Monotype is a great way to produce an image that is more spontaneous and experimental and can often help to work out ideas for a future painting.
The appeal of printmaking is that the end result is less predictable than painting. The excitement of peeling away the paper and seeing the image is very intoxitating and people generally get completely hooked. There are a great many more open access print workshops now making it quite possible for anyone to continue with printmaking and it is also possible to make some prints without the use of a press by hand burnishing.